Today in My History
Cast (updated 7/16)
REMEMBERING WITH BOB
November 26, 2020
Bob Bowen is the heart and soul of Davis. We met him in 1977 when he was auditioning kids for a children's production of The Nutcracker. David was too young to be in the cast, but all the other kids were in it, along with a cast of 70 children. Ned and Marta were both clowns in that production, they discovered later when they were dating and looking at each other's photo albums.
The Davis Children's Nutcracker has become a huge event in Davis. Now they have capped the cast at 200 kids, age 6-12, and you have to sign up and be part of a lottery to see if you get to be in it. This year would have been its 44th year, were it not for the pandemic.
Our kids were in it for several years and worked on it for several years. Bob ran it for many years but turned it over to someone else a few years ago.
Bob has always been the social circle of Davis. He ran the 4th of July celebrations (in his Uncle Sam suit), and the Easter and Christmas parades (where there were more kids in them than watching them. He found an inflatable movie screen that he set up in the park to show movies in the summer, and he had a portable stage that got driven around to wherever someone was putting on a show. Lawsuit would not have been as big or as popular as it was without Bob.
The kids worked for him for many years in many capacities, including Paul running the Varsity theater, and both he and Ned (and I think Jeri) running the Veterans Memorial Theater. Ned was 10 years old when he was in that first Nutcracker and he's 53 now. He and Bob have been friends on all sorts of levels for nearly 40 years.
Now Bob is retiring from the City of Davis and Ned & Clyde decided to feature Bob show on their radio show, so today they set up an interview in our carport. Ned cleared everything out of the carport and got it all set up for interviews, including a big pitcher of mulled cider, since it was cold outside.
Ned set his recording studio up in the garage.
Ned's co-host, Clyde and Bob were on one side of the carport.
On the other side of the carport were Jon and Greg, Ned's friends who had worked with Bob as long as Ned has. Jon had the microphones that Ned set up for each of them. Greg worked the Nutcracker more years than any of them, and his two sons both were in it and then worked it.
The interview (which will be considerably shortened after Ned edits it and probably take up two different shows) lasted about 2 hours and I have to tell you my heart was so full listening to these guys share the memory of their lives. Without Bob I don't know if any of them would have the experiences (or careers) that they have. I was just very emotional throughout the whole interview, though my hearing is so bad I missed about 90% of what they were saying.
One of the best parts of the day was
finally getting a package to Bob that I meant to give him months
ago. He is (or maybe was now) in charge of the Davis Bicycle Museum
and I offered him my godfather's scrapbook. Fred was a 6-day bicycle racer
and Bob was telling me that 6-day bicycle racing was "the" sport of the
Depression and the top racers made as much as $50,000 a year, which in the 1910s
and 20s was equivalent to $1 million or more today. Anyway, Fred's
scrapbook is filled with newspaper articles and professional photos and all
sorts of information about his life during that time. Knowing what Bob has
told me about 6 day bicycle racers, it seems strange to think of him as a middle
aged man selling vacuum cleaners door to door. which is what he was when I was
growing up. But how nice to know that he will now be part of a bicycle
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7549